A GIFT MORE THAN FOOD - EVELYN'S STORY
A RESERVED 32-YEAR-OLD, Evelyn is also a single mother. She is an atypical client. For one, she has a college degree and before the pandemic, she was an arts teacher. But now she is unemployed. She says: “I earned my degree….and I was supposed to be able to pull myself up.” But that had not happened. Evelyn was tired of “being brave”, while she dealt with the stresses of the pandemic, unemployment, struggles with ADHD, anxiety, and depression. She was sharing her fears and frustrations with us because, as she shared, she needed help. She recognized that there were barriers she could not address alone, despite her college degree. So, she joined the Wellness program, put on her tennis shoes, and started to walk weekly with other participants. Evelyn found MEND to be inviting. She felt a sense of community in a place that was nonjudgmental. Evelyn is thankful she joined: “[MEND] has provided me with encouragement and support to bounce back from my depression. She says: “The programs and services have been helpful…. they’ve connected me to others and encouraged me to meet my (health) goals.” Thank you for sharing this personal story, Evelyn, and for trusting us to be your lighthouse and place of safety.